Frequently Asked Questions

To read our FAQ, please click on a question. You can also filter by category using the links below.

My child doesn’t speak a word of French. How will she adapt?

Many of our preschool and kindergarten students do not speak or understand any French when they start school. Beginning on the first day, our teachers introduce students to the French language through everyday activities, including games, stories, songs and play.

Children’s natural capacity to learn and adapt means they will quickly begin to understand French, though some will take longer than others to feel comfortable speaking. Although children are encouraged to speak French in the classroom to teachers and each other, they are always able to express themselves and be understood in English. In addition, our native French-speaking students are encouraged to help and support their non-French-speaking friends.

Does my child need to know French to attend North Seattle French School?

For students entering preschool and kindergarten, NO French is required. Beginning in 1st grade, some command of French is necessary. Non-native speakers will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

How does language immersion work? When will my child understand and speak French?

Language is acquired most effectively when it is learned in a meaningful social context, such as school. Through immersion, our students learn French as they learned their mother tongue: in a nurturing environment, with lots of encouragement, plenty of gentle repetition, and physical cues as needed.

Most children will understand some French after just a few months. Some will begin experimenting with speaking right away, and others, though they may understand, will wait longer to speak until they feel more comfortable with the language.

When do students study English?

In elementary school, English Language Arts is taught for four to seven hours per week (increasing in each subsequent grade). By the end of 1st grade, the vast majority of our students are conversant French speakers, with age-appropriate literacy skills in both French and English. Starting in 3rd grade, students will spend about 40% of their time with English-speaking teachers and 60% with French-speaking teachers. Students will study some subjects, such as math, in both languages.

What are the school hours?

Elementary school (K through 5th): 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Preschool: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Do you offer full-day preschool?

Currently, we offer morning preschool only.

Please note: All children must be fully potty-trained prior to starting preschool.

Do you offer before and after school care?

Yes, we offer our Before and After School Care for our elementary students (beginning with kindergarten). At this time we do not offer before or after-school care for preschool. Learn more here.

Do you have art, music, gym, etc.?

Yes! All elementary students have class time each week for music, visual arts, and STEM, taught by specialist teachers. They also have dedicated time for physical education and to visit the school library with their class.

When should my family start the admissions process?

It’s a good idea to start looking at schools in the fall for the following school year. Our application deadline is January 31, but if space is available, we also accept students mid-year.

How old does my child need to be to start school?

North Seattle French School follows the French system to determine grade level according to date of birth. To start school, students must reach the following age requirements by December 31 of the same year:

Preschool: 3 years old
Kindergarten: 5 years old
1st Grade: 6 years old
and so on for each subsequent grade.

For example, students who turn 5 in November may start kindergarten in September.

Please note: All children must be fully potty-trained prior to starting preschool.


Do you have a policy for siblings of current students?

Yes. Siblings of current students receive a 5% tuition discount and have admissions priority. Siblings are not automatically accepted; all applicants must complete the full admissions process.

Does my child need to be toilet-trained prior to starting preschool?